New York Knicks (13-14)
Chicago Bulls (15-9)
Today, 7:30 PM on MSG
Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York
By Chip Murphy
After a devastating 10-game stretch in which the New York Knicks lost all but two games, they are now on a three-game winning streak.
They will look to extend that streak to four in tonight’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 19, 2015
Like the Knicks, the Bulls are playing on the second night of a back to back, but they are coming off of a very different experience.
The Knicks drubbed the 76ers last night at home, with the starters resting for the entire fourth quarter, and the Bulls played a 4 OT thriller at Detroit with both Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose playing over 50 minutes. Pau Gasol didn’t even travel to the game today with the team after playing 48 minutes last night. The Knicks should have the advantage. Still, the Bulls are not a team to be taken lightly.
The matchup to watch tonight is between Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony. Butler has not disappointed in the follow-up to last year’s break out season, averaging 21.8 points per game on 45 percent shooting. With his expanded role in Chicago’s offense he has managed to become one of the league’s best two way players, maintaining his status as an elite perimeter defender.
Anthony continues to struggle with his shot — just 4-14 in last night’s win over Philadelphia — and will have his hands full tonight with Butler. Anthony made it clear that the only other team he considered during his free agency period was the Bulls, and tonight he will get another glimpse of what could have been. A pairing of Butler and Anthony on the wing together would be devastating, instead they will go head-to-head tonight as rivals.